Grillin’ & Chillin’ Out Recipes
By Glenn Tiede –
A supplement to the story in the Dec/Jan 2016 issue of Decatur Magazine.
Perfect Steaks on the Grill
Recommended cuts are 1-1/2 inch thick strip or ribeye steaks, or two-inch thick (8-10 ounce) beef filets. Start the coals, and season steaks with either McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning, or with coarse salt, fresh ground pepper and a dusting of granulated garlic.
When the coals are ready and the grate is hot, add a small handful of mesquite chips to the charcoal, place the seasoned steaks directly over the coals and close the lid. Give the steaks 4-6 minutes in cold weather (depending on thickness), turn once and close the lid. Check them 5-6 minutes later and when juices begin to pool on top, they’re leaving the rare stage. Remove the steaks, cover with foil and rest for five minutes before serving. They’ll be perfect medium-rare, but you can obviously grill longer for more doneness. If you use an instant-read thermometer, the gauge is 125 for rare, 135 for medium-rare, 145 for medium, 150 for medium-well and 160 for well-done.
Season the turkey inside and out with coarse salt, fresh ground pepper and granulated garlic, or use your favorite pre-packaged poultry seasoning or homemade blend. Next, mix chopped fresh thyme and minced garlic with melted butter and, using an injector, inject the herb butter into the thickest parts of the breasts, depressing the plunger very slowly. Some butter will ooze out and drizzle down the sides of the turkey, which is fine. Finally, place several handfuls of fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs in the cavity. Don’t bother binding the bird shut.
Set up your grill for an indirect cook. When the coals are ready, dump equal amounts on either side of the bottom grate and place a foil-lined metal pan (or disposable foil pan) between the piles of charcoal, taking care not to get ashes in the pan if you’re saving the drippings for gravy. Close the lid for 10-15 minutes to allow the grill chamber to warm.
Place the turkey on a roasting rack, place the rack on the top grate over the drip pan, add a little handful of cherry wood chips to the charcoal and close the lid. Keep the grill temperature around 350-400 degrees, leaving the top vents wide open and using the bottom vents to adjust the temperature as needed.
A 15-pound turkey should take four to five hours, depending on outside temperatures. Check every 45-50 minutes, and add a few more wood chips. The plastic buttons that pop up when the turkey is done actually work pretty well, but use your instant-read thermometer to verify the meaty parts of the breasts and legs are 165 degrees. Take the bird off the grill before the internal temperature reaches 170. Tent with foil and keep warm 15-20 minutes before carving.
Soak the plank or planks in warm water for at least 45 minutes, keeping them weighted down with a bowl of water. Blot the smooth sides dry with paper towels, brush with olive oil, set aside and season the salmon filets — either with McCormick’s Grill Mates Salmon and Seafood seasoning, or with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and a little brown sugar. Arrange salmon on the planks and place directly over the hot coals. Close the lid and cook for about 25-30 minutes. The salmon is done when it starts to “milk” and flakes easily. Serve immediately.
Cedar-Planked, Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops
Using pre-sliced prosciutto (usually about 4” wide by 8” long), slice the stack of prosciutto in half lengthwise before separating individual slices, then carefully separate and wrap one thin strip around each scallop, securing with a toothpick. After wrapping, season the scallops lightly on both exposed sides with coarse salt, lemon pepper and dusting of granulated garlic. Soak and prepare the planks as you would for salmon and arrange the scallops on the plank so they don’t touch. Place the planks directly over the hot coals and close the lid. Check in 25 minutes. Scallops are done when their juices start to run and meat turns opaque. Serve immediately.
Stuffed Beef Tenderloin
Ask for the “barrel” of the tenderloin and the butcher will trim the tapered ends, leaving a more uniform shape, about 10” long and 4 pounds. Plan on about an 8-10 ounce serving per person.
Set a package of frozen spinach out to thaw, then roast two heads of garlic. While the garlic is roasting, reconstitute a small package of dried porcini mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes, drain, chop and add to a mixing bowl. When the garlic is roasted, allow to cool. Separate the cloves and squeeze them out of their skins into the mixing bowl. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the thawed spinach, chop coarsely and add to the mixing bowl. Stir the roasted garlic, mushrooms and spinach together and set aside.
Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in the tenderloin, taking care not to cut all the way through the bottom. Cut two more slits horizontally near the bottom of the first slit and carefully open to form a beef canoe. Spoon the garlic-mushroom-spinach mixture into the cavity, stretching the beef to make room for the stuffing. After the mixture is evenly stuffed, top with 3-4 oz. of crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola and carefully pull the opening together. Tie short lengths of kitchen string around the tenderloin, spacing 2” apart and pinching the opening shut as you go. Trim excess string, then season the beef as you would a steak.
Place in a roasting rack and grill indirect, with two piles of coal separated by a drip pan and the roasting rack over the drip pan. Toss some mesquite wood chips on the hot coals and close the lid. Check in 20 minutes, and again every five minutes until internal temp reaches 135 for rare, 145 for medium, 150 for medium-well or 160 for well-done. Remove from grill, tent with foil and let rest 10-15 minutes before slicing into ¾ to one-inch thick slices.
Bacon-Wrapped Onion Rings
Trim the caps off large white or yellow onions and cut into ½-inch thick slices, or three thick slices from a large onion. Punch out the middle of the onion, leaving the outer 2 or 3 rings, or about ½-inch wide. Carefully wrap with thin-sliced bacon, overlapping as you go, until the onion ring is completely wrapped (about 2-3 pieces of bacon per ring). If needed, use a toothpick to hold the bacon in place. Season with granulated garlic and pepper and set aside.
These pair great with steaks, but put them on the grill about 20 minutes before the meat and not directly over the hot coals. Turn every 5-6 minutes and keep grilling indirect until they start to look done before adding the steaks to the grill.
Grill the vegetables you like: small fingerling or new potatoes, Brussels sprouts, chunks of carrot, asparagus, whole mushrooms — just toss with olive oil and use your preferred seasonings. Grill for 10-20 minutes over and beside the hot coals, moving the vegetables around to avoid burning.
Grill lemons cut in half (cut side down) to serve with cedar-planked seafood, or for a unique twist, grill romaine or iceberg lettuce wedges while your grilled meat is resting. Cut heads of romaine in half lengthwise or quarter the iceberg into wedges, brush the flat sides with oil, season with salt and pepper and grill with the lid shut for 2 minutes, just to get a little wilt and char. Serve with your choice of dressing.
Grillmaster Glenn Tiede is a regular contributor to Decatur Magazine.
This is a supplement to an article which originally appeared in the December/January 2016 issue of Decatur Magazine. It may not be reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part without the publisher’s consent.
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